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A Home Run

Watched by Hitler and the largest crowd in baseball history, Les McNeece hit the homer that could have brought baseball into the Olympics.

When the United States decided to field two teams for the Olympics, Les was a natural candidate. He had played well in Japan and the American team would again be picked by Leslie Mann, executive secretary of the United States Baseball Congress.

Mann had conducted a baseball school in Miami, where McNeece had met Dow Wilson, from Dow City, Iowa. At the 1936 tryouts in Baltimore the two met again and both won starting positions with the Champions.

Fort Lauderdale honored its favorite baseball son with a “Les McNeece Day” shortly before his departure to Germany. Les’s older brother, Doyle, who now lives in Vero Beach, pitched a three-hitter for Fort Lauderdale, which beat Hollywood 5-1. Les helped celebrate his day with two hits.  

Read the entire article in the Summer 2000 issue